Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sri Lankan Crabs with Spinach and Coconut Milk

Oh my! The sweetness of crab combined with a little kick of heat and the creaminess of coconut milk. It really doesn't get much better than that. Best of all, all this dish really needs is some rice (may I suggest this Sri Lankan rice dish?) to form a complete meal.

One year ago: Watercress, Pistachio, and Orange Blossom Salad
Two years ago: Sun-dried Tomato and Olive Muffins
Three years ago: Tomatillo Sauce

Sri Lankan Crabs with Spinach and Coconut Milk (from 660 Curries)
8 live blue crabs or 1 lb uncooked or cooked crab meat
5 large garlic cloves
2 lengthwise slices ginger (2"x1"x1/8")
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
2 tbsp canola oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp Untoasted Sri Lankan Curry Powder
1 tsp cayenne
1 large tomato, cored and finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 fresh green chiles, stems removed and cut in half
2 cinnamon sticks
3 cups coconut milk
1 lb baby spinach
juice of 1 lime

1. If using live crabs, boil them to put them to rest and remove meat from crab.
2. Put garlic, ginger, peppercorns, and mustard seeds in mortar and pound with pestle to a pulpy, gritty paste.
3. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and paste and stir-fry until light brown, 3 - 5 minutes.
4. Sprinkle in curry powder and cayenne and cook 1 minute.
5. Stir in tomato, salt, chiles, cinnamon sticks, and coconut milk.
6. Bring to a boil and stir in crabmeat. Lower heat to medium, cover pan and simmer until crabmeat is cooked (or warmed through if using already cooked meat).
7. Stir in half of spinach and simmer uncovered until it wilts. Repeat.
8. Stir in lime juice and serve.


  1. I've just ordered a copy of 660 Recipes thanks to you (he should be paying you commission!)
    Can't wait to try this one - blue swimmer crabs are in season here at the moment.
    Thanks again for sharing such a fabulous recipe file.

    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I was a little overwhelmed when I first received it, but it continues to be one of my favourites. I'm hoping to get another recipe posted from it today.